Five Steps to Turn Your Business Plan into Your Action Plan

Happy New Year!

If you have finished your Business Plan for 2014 (you have, haven’t you?), no doubt you have a list of quantitative goals (new clients, new assets, new revenue) and perhaps you also have a list of what you want to do to get there.

We call that second list your strategic initiatives or activity goals because they describe what you need to do to reach your desired results (i.e., your quantitative goals). You may have included some things you want to do to improve your client experience, your team structure or your marketing or prospecting efforts.

Now what?

Unfortunately, many advisors breathe a sigh of relief that their plan is done and then put it aside until the next time they think about something they said they wanted to do…or next year whichever comes first.

How about turning your business plan into an action plan? And why not include your support team in the process?

Here are five simple steps to help you get started actually accomplishing what your business plan said you wanted to do in 2014:

  1. Pull every initiative or activity goal you included in your business plan into a single list – your action plan. (If you create your list in a spreadsheet, sorting it later will be easy.) Make certain each one is worded so that it will be clear when you have completed or implemented it. 
  2. Prioritize your action plan. Since it’s unlikely you can complete or implement everything immediately, you need to set priorities. Here’s an approach to simplify that task:
    1. Put an A next to all of your top priorities. You know which ones will really help you move your business forward. Just make sure that your A-list represents no more than 20-25% of the total.
    2. Put a C next to the items that would be good to do, but are not essential to your having a successful year in 2014. Again, your C-list should be no more than 20-25% of the total.
    3. Put a B next to everything else.
    4. Now sort your list with A’s on top, then B’s, then C’s.
  3. Next, you can name an “owner” for each item, particularly if you have a team or at least a support person. (If not, you’ll have to own all of them. Sorry!)
  4. Then set a completion or implementation date for each action item, based on your priorities, who owns them and any dependencies that might exist. By dependencies, I mean that if you have included in your action plan that you will refine your messaging and revamp your website, refining your messaging should logically come before putting your new website together. Then you can sort your list by when each item should be completed or implemented.
  5. Finally, put a plan in place to review your action plan monthly to make certain you stay on track to do what you said you wanted to do. You can review your quantitative goals quarterly to see how they are tracking, also.

Make certain you have a great 2014 by using your action plan to help you implement the strategies and tasks that will help you reach all of the goals you have set for yourself.

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